Item 99 - Letter from Alice Walker to Sir Walter Greg

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Letter from Alice Walker to Sir Walter Greg


  • 17 June 1951 (Creation)

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Leddon Cottage, Welcombe, Bideford, Devon.—Discusses the implications for the Oxford Shakespeare of the work of Bowers and his students.



Leddon Cottage, Welcombe, Bideford, Devon.
17 June 1951

Dear Sir Walter,

Thank you very much indeed for the loan of University of Virginia Studies III {1}. I shall be returning it tomorrow. I was very glad to have the opportunity of reading at greater leisure the articles of Professor Bald and Professor Bowers and was, of course, especially glad to have a copy of your paper.

I am very much interested in the work of Professor Bowers and his students. It is, in many ways, a mercy Dr. McKerrow got no further with his project than he did. The trouble was, I think, that he knew quite well he oughtn’t to start publication until at least the preliminary work was done for all the plays, but had already spent so long on laying the foundations that he felt he must make a start. I am sure it was a mistake. I doubt if it is any use attempting an edition on the Clarendon Press scale until it is known how far copies of the Folio and quartos differ among themselves and until we have better date {2} for discriminating between the work of compositors and collators in Folio texts printed from corrected quartos. I am getting on as best as I can with the latter line of investigation, but it is hampering not to have facsimiles of all the quarto editions used for Folio texts.

Professor Nicoll crawled over the Othello muddle. I have since heard that the Shakespeare Survey Board celebrates April 23rd (when the meeting was held) rather well and doubtless some poor and unhappy head was responsible for the confusion.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the sea.

With many thanks,

Yours sincerely,
Alice Walker.


Typed, except the signature.

{1} Studies in Bibliography, vol. iii (1950–1). The volume contained three papers: ‘Editorial Problems—A Preliminary Survey’ by R. C. Bald, ‘The Rationale of Copy-Text’ by W. W. Greg, and ‘Some Relations of Bibliography to Editorial Problems’ by Fredson Bowers.

{2} A slip for 'data'.

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Formerly inserted in Greg's copy of R. B. McKerrow’s Prolegomena for the Oxford Shakespeare (1939) (Adv. c. 26. 5).

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